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The composition of the dry matter of wheat varies widely depending on soil, climate and
genetic variations between wheat types. Wheat in New Zealand has a protein content that
ranges on average from 8% to 13%. t has a high carbohydrate content of about 83% of
the weight of a kernel. Other components of the wheat grain include bran and germ. Bran,
the outer coating or shell, is rich in B vitamins and minerals. The wheat germ or embryo is
a rich source of B vitamins, oil, vitamin E and fat. t needs to be discarded during milling
because the fat is liable to become rancid during storage. t is still very valuable and is used
in many products. Minerals contained in wheat include calcium, phosphorus, potassium,
iron, magnesium and soudium. Vitamins such as thiamine(B1), riboflavin (B2), pantothenic
acid, inostol, P-aminobenzoic acid, folic acid and vitamin B6 are also distributed throughout
the wheat grain. All the nutrients contained in wheat make bread an essential part of the
diet. Bread is one of the cheapest, high quality nutritious fodds in New Zealand and not only
provides many essential nutrients but is also low in fat, cholesterol and sugar.
Milk is approximately 4.9% carbohydrate in the form of lactose. The lactose content of some
milk varieties is shown in the Nutrient Content Tables. Carbohydrates are the primary source
of energy for activity. Glucose is the only form of energy that can be used by the brain.
Excess glucose is stored in the form of glycogen in the muscles and liver for later use.
Carbohydrates are important in hormonal regulation in the body. Lack of adequate levels of
glucose in the blood and carbohydrate stores leads to muscle fatigue and lack of
concentration. Lactose is a disaccharide made up of glucose and galactose bonded together.
Before it can be used by the body, the bond must be broken by the enzyme lactase in the
small intestine. People that have decreased activity of lactase in the small intestine may
have problems digesting lactose and this is referred to as lactose intolerance or
malabsorption. Milk is approximately 87% water, so it is a good source of water in the diet.
The water content of some milk varieties is shown in the Nutrient Content Tables. Water
does not provide a nutritional benefit in the same manner as proteins or vitamins, for
example. However, water is extremely important in human metabolism. Water is a major
component in the body. Water maintains blood volume, transports nutrients like glucose and
oxygen to the tissues and organs, and transports waste products away from tissues and
organs for elimination by the body. Water helps to lubricate joints and cushions organs
during movement. Water maintains body temperature regulation through sweating. Lack of
water (dehydration) results in fatigue, mental impairment, cramping, and decreased athletic
performance. Severe dehydration can be life-threatening.
Bananas are among the most widely consumed fruits on the planet and, according to
the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Americans' favourite fresh fruit. The curvy yellow fruits
are high in "potassium and pectin, a form of fiber," said Laura Flores, a San Diego-based
nutritionist. They can also be a good way to get magnesium and vitamins C and B6.
"Bananas are high in antioxidants, which can provide protection from free radicals, which we
come into contact with every day, from the sunlight to the lotion you put on your skin,"
Flores added. Flores reported a wide variety of health benefits associated with the fruit.
"Bananas are known to reduce swelling, protect against developing type-2 diabetes, aid in
weight loss, strengthen the nervous system and help with production of white blood cells, all
due to the high level of vitamin B6 that bananas contain," she told Live Science.